Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bruce Metcalf

Bruce Metcalf came to visit UWM this week and if you don't know about Bruce he is a studio jeweler and critic who has impacted the studio jewelry world for the last 40 years. Bruce was invited by Object - our metals student organization - to talk about his work and interact with the metals students. Along with his public artist lecture (which you can hear the podcast here) Bruce chatted with the advanced forming metals class and did a class critique with 9 selected students. His conversations about the work the students presented were both critical and fun, as you can see Bruce does enjoy a good performance. (You can also catch a glimpse of our new facility..isn't it great?)

Personally I enjoyed the conversation we had with Bruce the most. The class was required to read his 2001 essay from Metalsmith Magazine, "The Problem with the Fountain," and respond to it or any of his other writings in question form. We had a very interesting 2 hour conversation about everything from Duchamp to DIY. It is a very special opportunity to have an open forum with a major voice in the critical craft community and I only wish I had a full hour critique with him instead of only 5 minutes.

Bruce was in town to promote the Wisconsin stop on the tour of his Retrospective, which began at the Palo Alto Art Center last year and may still be traveling after it's stop here at the Racine Art Museum, but I'm not entirely sure, more information about the tour here.

Also very important and exciting to note is the completion of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft by both Bruce and Janet Koplos. The book is the first textbook-like print to document contemporary studio craft and I know other grad programs where this is already a required reading assignment. How very exciting to be living in this moment in time, when we can see the roots of our field expanding and becoming more solid.

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